WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. congressional committee on Wednesday unanimously authorised laws to increase the fund compensating first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults on the World Commerce Middle for the subsequent 70 years, a transfer that will keep away from steep profit reductions over a scarcity of cash.
The Home Judiciary Committee acted at some point after tv character and comic Jon Stewart castigated lawmakers at a listening to for his or her sluggish response to serving to New York Metropolis firefighters, cops and different emergency personnel who rushed to the scene of the assaults that left two of Manhattan’s most well-known skyscrapers in rubble.
The fund additionally helps building employees and victims of the assault.
“Your indifference prices these women and men their Most worthy commodity – time,” Stewart mentioned to a listening to room full of lawmakers and first-responders, together with these now affected by most cancers, respiratory issues and different severe well being points because of inhaling contaminated air almost 18 years in the past.
Earlier than Wednesday’s vote, Home Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, whose constituents dwell in New York Metropolis, mentioned that regardless of federal officers’ statements that the air was secure within the aftermath of the assault, “greater than 95,000 responders and survivors are sick.”
The invoice, which subsequent goes to the total Home for debate, would prolong the victims’ compensation fund to 2090, placing it on the identical phrases as a well being program for World Commerce Middle victims. It additionally would reverse any profit cuts resulting from inadequate funds.
Additionally on Wednesday, Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer of New York pleaded for quick passage in that chamber.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell was requested by a reporter whether or not he would advance the laws.
“I hadn’t checked out that these days. I will should. We have all the time handled that in a compassionate manner and I assume we’ll once more,” McConnell mentioned.
Prior to now, some lawmakers have complained about the price of serving to 9-11 victims at a time of extreme U.S. price range deficits.
“It is shameful. There’s no different phrase for it. Shameful, that our courageous first responders have needed to undergo the indignity of delay after delay after delay,” Schumer mentioned in a speech to the Senate.
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